While the 50’s was a decade of many serious changes, there were many pop culture fads that defined the times.
So many different things define the 1950’s include music, politics, television, food, fashion, and more. But there were also a number of fun 1950’s fads that made the decade so unique.
One of the biggest 1950’s fads was the hula hoop. While the practice of using a hoop for fun and exercise has been around for a long time, the modern hula hoop was invented by Arthur K. Melin and Richard Knerr, who marketed the product under their company Wham-O in 1958. The hoop gained instant popularity and during the height of the fad 50,000 hoops a day were being manufactured.
Another 1950’s fad was 3-D movies. With the rapid rise of television, the movies were starting to lose their audience. 3-D movies were a way to get people away from their television sets and back into movie theater seats. The 1952 movie Bwana Devil was the first major box office success to utilize the technology and kicked off what is generally known as the golden era of 3-D. Other popular 3-D movies during the decade included Vincent Price’s horror classic House of Wax in 1953, It Came From Outer Space in 1953, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon in 1954. In 1953 there were over 5,000 theaters using the 3-D equipment. But later in the decade the fad lost steam due to customers complaining of eye strain.
Poodle skirts were a major fashion fad of the 1950’s and to this day probably the look that is most associated with the decade. The skirts featured not just poodles, but also popular images of the time including dice, records, and cars.
The Davey Crockett style coonskin cap was another 1950’s fad. The media and television had a great impact on the culture of the time and the coonskin cap is one example. The cap was made popular by actor Fess Parker who wore one in his role as Davey Crockett in Disney’s 1954 miniseries. An estimated $100 million in sales of the cap were spurred by the Disney show.